RTV Tools

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Free RSS to PDF automation

I previously posted about my large library of archived Revit blog posts.  I then got a request from Mr Stewart to shed some light on how I automate the RSS to PDF process.  It is a lengthy process, and I'm sure there are easier and better ways, but here is how I did it:
  1. Set up a dedicated Google alias, for Reader and Gmail
  2. Make a big RSS list in a specific folder in Reader.  Mine is shared here.  Share that feed folder from Reader.
  3. I then burnt this shared feed in Feedburner:
  4. Then, I subscribed to my own burnt feed via email (Gmail address from step 1), by using the Feedburner page here:
  5. I then installed and set up a portable Thunderbird profile, using my Gmail alias from step 1
  6. So now, Thunderbird was receiving daily email summaries of all Revit related blogs - I just had to get this info into a PDF somehow.  I used PDFCreator, due to its autonaming functionality.
  7. Install PDFCreator
  8. In Thunderbird options (Tools - Options - Config Editor), set PDFCreator as the default printer using print.print_printer.  Here are my printer settings in Thunderbird:

  9. Go into PDFCreator to set the Auto-save options:

  10. Now, back to Thunderbird.  Set up a filter like this

  11.  To auto-create the PDFs, just - Open Thunderbird, Get Mail, Tools - Run Filters on folder.  Once it is set up, it is very easy to use.

Here is an example of the kind of PDF output I get - link here.  The formatting is perhaps suboptimal, but most images are retained and the text can be indexed by a search program like Google Desktop.

Graham's message:
Graham H Stewart BIM Associate at Ramboll UK
To: Luke Johnson
Date: July 11, 2012

Hi luke
Seen you blog regarding automation of rss feed via PDF
. Can you shed some light on this as I would like to know more

Sent from LinkedIn for iPad

Another request I received was about how I sort and organise all the info I collect.  I will add some info on this later:
Plessey Mathews
Wow. Please share how you categorize the videos, the pdfs's - by expertise level, by workflows... ? And what about videos for older versions PRE ribbon interface. Do you still keep them or weed them out. What front end do you use to access this information. Windows explorer would be overwhelming. Thank you. Now I am going to beg IT a NAS box for training videos.

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